Atlanta’s Clayton family featured on TLC’s ‘So Freakin Cheap’

Credit: TLC

Credit: TLC

Tony Clayton calls himself ‘a crazy, obsessed cheapskate.’

Tony Clayton of Stonecrest prides himself on his crazy cheap ways with methods that even Clark Howard might find questionable.

But he has been rewarded with air time on a TLC reality show called “So Freakin Cheap,” which debuted last month and features three other families with comparably unusual ways to save a buck.

Tony pays for everything in coins. He actively hunts for them and finds $3 to $4 a week, often on the floors at convenience stores.

“The coins act as a deterrent,” he said on the show. “It controls your urge to want to spend more money.”

The Claytons debuted on the second episode, with Tony counting out $20 to pay for gasoline at a gas station while his wife Angela and his teen daughter Cierra wait sheepishly in the car.

Tony, a 46-year-old New York native, will cut off the hot water heater if Angela is in the shower too long. He will sometimes siphon electricity from a neighbor. He also uses a urine formula as a cleaner. He’ll take a hot frying pan, make some eggs, then use the hot pan to iron pants.

In episode three, he convinces an employee at Bell’s Discount Grocery in Covington to let him into the backroom to pick through bruised produce for an even more discounted price.

Angela, 42, is the breadwinner as a transit supervisor. Tony is Mr. Mom. She loves her husband but finds his overly frugal ways annoying at times.

“It’s not fun,” Angela said in an interview with the AJC. “You work, you should be able to vacation. You only live once. You can’t take the money with you when you die.”

Tony, who grew up as the eighth of 13 children and lived with hand me downs, said he will take her out to dinner at a restaurant every so often — as long as he has coupons.

During the third episode, Angela held a party with some lady friends and wanted face masks. Tony made his own using lettuce, paintbrushes and avocado paste he created from a formula he found on the Internet.

He then gave them overcooked frozen pizza he stuck in an empty pizza box he got for free from a neighboring pizzeria.

Then he turned off the electricity at 10 p.m., which he does every day when guests are not over. This was too much for Angela. “You know how embarrassing this is?” she said to him after he did that.

During the fourth episode, he tries to teach Cierra how to drive but refuses to turn on the engine. Again, Angela finds this mind-boggling.


“So Freakin Cheap,” 10 p.m. Mondays, TLC

About the Author

Editors' Picks